Sweet 16 as le Clos carves out more Commonwealth Games history

The 25-year-old became the most decorated Commonwealth Games swimmer of all time with 16 career medals.

Published: 09th April 2018 09:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th April 2018 09:56 PM   |  A+A-

South Africa's Chad Le Clos gestures after winning gold at the men's 100m butterfly final at Aquatic Centre | AP


GOLD COAST: Chad le Clos toasted South African success in and out of the pool at the Commonwealth Games on Monday after rewriting the history books yet again.

The 25-year-old completed a butterfly hat-trick by romping to victory in the men's 100 metres final in a Games-record 50.65 seconds to become the most decorated Commonwealth Games swimmer of all time with 16 career medals.

Le Clos, who shot to fame at the 2012 London Olympics when he floored Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly, in one of the sport's great upsets, wanted to share his achievement with his team-mates on a big night for South Africa on the Gold Coast.

"That's 16!" le Clos told AFP after surpassing Australian great Susie O'Neill. 

"I'm very humbled. I knew had to win tonight -- a lot of pressure obviously going in as the favourite. James (Guy) I knew was going to come out guns blazing. It was a tight race but I kept my cool in the end."

ALSO READ: Van der Burgh stuns Peaty to spark African gold rush 

"Awesome night -- I don't where to start," added the 25-year-old, pointing to Cameron van der Burgh's upset of world record-holder Adam Peaty in the 50m breaststroke, and Tatjana Schoenmaker's victory in the women's 100m breaststroke.

"Cameron was phenomenal. That was one of the best performances I've ever seen him do. And then Tatjana, superstar, getting the double gold (in the 100 and 200m)."

Draped in a South African flag, le Clos also paid tribute to track sprinter Akani Simbine's shock victory over Jamaica's Yohan Blake in the men's 100m metres at the Commonwealth Games athletics, with Henricho Bruintjies taking silver.

"We got gold and silver in the 100m -- unbelievable!" whooped le Clos, before returning to van der Burgh's stunning defeat of Peaty.

"But Cameron's win was very special. Knowing what he's been through in the last couple of years,  especially with Peaty. 

"Obviously Peaty is the world record-holder, so for him to win that is unbelievable. You've got to tip your cap to Cameron."

Le Clos arrived in Australia hoping to become the most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games history.

He was six medals behind shooters Mick Gault and Philip Adams, who lead the way with 18.

Despite adding three gold and one silver to his haul, le Clos will now have to until Birmingham 2022 to overtake them after failing to medal in the 200m freestyle and the 4x100m free. 

"If I get a (relay) medal tomorrow, I'll miss it by one but I've done everything that I could," said le Clos, contesting seven events in Gold Coast.

"I'm very proud of myself personally. Nothing could have gone better for me this week. I couldn't ask for a better way to end."

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